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Sliders: Season 4
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Slide into an out-of-this-world adventure as all 22 thrilling Season 4 episodes of Sliders land on DVD for the first time ever! Reunite with genius Quinn Mallory (Jerry O'Connell) and his fellow Sliders — Rembrandt (Cleavant Derricks), Captain Maggie Beckett (Kari Wuhrer), and Quinn's brother Colin (Charlie O'Connell) — as they jump in and out of alternate Earthly realms, battle the ruthless Kromaggs, deal with their tricky doubles, search for their mysterious birth parents, and try to land on the elusive Earth Prime. Accompanying them on various leaps through time and space are spectacular guest stars including Adrienne Barbeau (Escape from New York), Shane West (ER) and Malcolm Jamal-Warner (Jeremiah). It's an absolute must-have for every sci-fi fan!
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Top Customer Reviews
In a very good move, the disks in this set are single-sided! An improvement over season 3. The box (exterior and interior) design is similar to season 3 with different art/colors. It's a 5 tray digipak design with a tape hinge that's glued to a flexible green translucent plastic "wrap around" cover. The portion of the cover hidden by the slipcase has episode information screened on it, which is nice and a first for this series. Video is Full Frame (1.33:1) as originally broadcast, and looks very good. Audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0. There are English subtitles. Disks 1, 4, & 5 have 4 episodes each with disks 2 & 3 having 5 each. From all appearances, "missing scenes" have been restored to the appropriate episodes.
Comments about the season:
Sliders moved from Fox to the Sci Fi Channel beginning with this season. The first episode garnered the highest premiere rating that the Sci Fi Channel had ever received up until that point.
We left our intrepid team (minus Prof. Arturo, plus Maggie [Kari Wuhrer]) at the end of season 3 with a damaged timer that doesn't track Rickman's wormhole. This separates Wade and Rembrandt from Quinn and Maggie on different worlds.
We open season 4 as Quinn finally repairs the timer so it can track Wade and Rembrandt's photon trail to Earth Prime. He and Maggie return to Earth Prime only to find it in the hands of the Kromaggs. Wade is kidnapped (off screen), Rembrandt is rescued, Quinn learns that Wade has been shipped "off-world" (actually an alternate Earth).
Sabrina Lloyd had left the show between seasons after friction on the set between her and Wuhrer led her to demand that Executive Producer David Peckinpah pick between the two of them. Peckinpah chose Wuhrer - and Wade was left to occasional mentions as a breeding host for Humaggs. This was the plot device to explain her absense.
In the sixth episode of the season Charlie O'Connell (brother of Jerry) joined the regular cast (at Jerry's insistence) as Quinn's brother Colin for his only season. Can you say nepotism?
Season 4 is dominated by the Kromags as the focus changed from attempting to get home to one of freeing Earth Prime from Kromag control. It would be Jerry O'Connell's final year on the show. While the overall direction of season 4 *was* an improvement over that of season 3 I found myself growing indifferent as it progressed. What had started out as an innovative approach on a time travel motif appeared to be turning into just another Sci Fi Channel cheesefest. I stopped watching about half-way into the season.
Now, having finally purchased and rewatched the entire season I stand by my comments. It *is* a bit better than the last half of season 3 but is not the best the show has to offer. I *still* miss Arturo. The episodes feel a bit "less" without his presence, and Wuhrer seems not much more than "eye candy"... Dialog is frequently cheesy and trite with lots of "recycled" type plotlines.
I recommend season 4 only if you are a fan or if it can be purchased for less than a sawbuck (I got mine for half that).
So, the final tally is:
Set design/quality = 4
Sliders Season 4 = 2
Average = 3
10/21/11 - Season 5 has been announced with a January 17th, 2012 release date. Early views of the package shows it to be identical to the season 4 but in blue this time and with single-sided disks.
Amazon lists it here: Sliders: The Fifth and Final Season.
Although this season lacked the humor of the other three seasons (I deeply miss John Rye Davies) this season has the most action of any other. Unlike any other season the Kromags were given a role as a group of villains identical to the Nazis. Many episodes were actually downright scary.
The very best episode of all is "California Reich", in which the sliders land on a world that still discriminates by race and surgically converts blacks into faceless beings called "eddies". The last part of this episode is really a shocker.
One very major change is the character of Cleavant Derricks. In the first three seasons the character "Rembrandt" was a bit similar to that of Stan Laurel with John Rye Davies' character, which was a bit like Oliver Hardy. In season four, "Rembrandt" is a completely new character, that of a very angry militant who vows revenge. It's hard to believe he is the same Rembrandt.
The lead actor, Jerry O'Connell, had his best season to date. Not only does he do well as Quinn, but he does extremely well as some very colorful atler egos. In the episode "The Alternateville Horror" he shows he has skill as a comedian when he plays a counterpart who is a spaced out hippie.
The only drawback to this season is another actor, Charlie O'Connell who, unlike his older brother, does not seem to have much acting ability. Evidently he did not have much acting experience. He started out as a fashion model. Charlie O'Connell was hardly a replacement for John Rye Davies or Sabrina Lloyd and seems to be there only to take up space, or rather, to fill a quota of four lead actors.
Although Kari Wuhrer was also originally there for a purpose other than acting (obviously to attract horny young men to the show) she truly shows she has a LOT of acting ability anyway, despite what the producers originally intended her to do. She does a wonderful job and moved me with many scenes.
All in all, this is a great season to watch.
Now what we need to do is to give Universal Studios ANOTHER hard kick in the buns to release season five.
Some of the very finest episodes of the series are in this season, presenting some novel sci-fi concepts and furthering the show's mythology.
There's an episode where an alternate Quinn accidentally slides his entire world away, an episode where all citizens are forcefully medicated by the government, an episode where the sliders are turned into computer data, and episodes dealing with themes as diverse as racial cleansing, reality television, an anti-Kromagg virus, the technological divide, cloning for body parts and rapid aging.
This is truly this troubled but fascinating show's last hurrah and well worth adding to your collection.
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